This really is not my Mama’s Banana Pudding. I can’t imagine what hers would be like. She never made pudding but it does conjurer up memories of elementary school when one time my mother really thought that the standard Scooby Doo Lunch Box thermos would keep ice cream frozen until lunchtime. Boy was I surprised when I opened the container and saw little floating marshmallows in a thick, chocolate milky substance. It was Rocky Road by the way. I was so embarrassed that I quickly closed it up and stuck it back in my box before the big mean girl that sat next to me could make fun. It took me a long time to figure out why the big mean girl had to sit next to me every year until I realized that, silly me, we sat in alphabetical order!
Moving on. I made this dessert for my brother-in-law’s birthday. I knew that one of his most favorite desserts is chocolate pie. However, I have yet to find a recipe for chocolate pie that I really enjoy. So, why not a little BP? This is very thick and rich and you can cut it into squares instead of using a spoon. That thick. To me, it tastes a lot like cake batter without the worry of raw eggs. But, I seem to be the only person with that worry.
I sometimes use only one bag of cookies because two can be overpowering. The pudding itself is rich enough without all the extra cookies.
Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding
By Paula Deen
2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced (I use 3)
2 cups milk
1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream
Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top. In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.